Archives: Voices

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, February 23, 2024

The Poison Pills Edition. Congress has set deadlines for completing 12 bills that provide funding for all the federal programs requiring annual appropriations – including nutrition for babies, toddlers, and the aging, rental subsidies, environmental protection, child care, education from pre-k to college, transportation, and a whole lot more. Some of these programs will see their funding run out on March 1; the rest on March 8, if Congress does not finally approve funding or pass another extension. If funding runs out, the programs covered will shut down until Congress finally acts. Despite the fast approach of these deadlines, Congress is now in a recess. The Senate will return on Monday, February 26; the House not until February 28, just two days before the March 1 deadline.   

CHN to Congressional appropriators: Say no to an extremist minority using poison pill riders to cut, block, and shut down

CHN’s Executive Director Deborah Weinstein joined with other organizations in the Clean Budget Campaign this week to call on Congress to do its job and pass bills to fund the full range of government services, and to reject inserting extremist policies in the funding bills that could not get majority support on their own. Her comments are included in a Facebook video presentation to be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 3:00 p.m.

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, February 2, 2024

The domestic emergency needs edition. You’ve heard some in Congress say we have an emergency along our Southern border. And yes, it is true that Republicans should join Democrats at the table and negotiate a comprehensive immigration bill – one that treats immigrants fairly, whether they are already here, or are seeking to come here due to facing political oppression or various other forms of violence at home. But as members of Congress stare down the FY 2024 appropriations process from both sides of the aisle, it is abundantly clear that we have a number of domestic human needs emergencies we must address.

CHN: The Senate should join the House to improve the Child Tax Credit 

With the House passage of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act, Congress is one important step closer to making needed improvements in the Child Tax Credit that will benefit 16 million children in families with low incomes and lift 400,000 children out of poverty this year. Now the Senate must act expeditiously to pass the bill, with no amendments that would reduce the Child Tax Credit’s help to children.   

CHN urges timely yes vote on bipartisan Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

CHN this week urged Congress to vote for H.R. 7024, the bipartisan Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024. We urge members of Congress to actively support moving the bipartisan tax package at the first opportunity because of important changes to the Child Tax Credit (CTC). We think it is critical that the expansions to the CTC can take effect this tax season. 

Coming in 2024: Health care savings for millions of Americans 

As we head into 2024, there is much to celebrate on the health care front. First, millions of Americans will save money on prescription drug costs in 2024 because of actions taken by President Biden and a previous Congress. And second, enrollments under the Affordable Care Act marketplaces are soaring to record numbers.

CHN Supports the Child Tax Credit Improvements in the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 

The Coalition on Human Needs supports the improvements made to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) within the bipartisan H.R. 7024, the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024.  We urge members of Congress to actively support moving the bipartisan tax package at the first opportunity so it can take effect this tax season, and vote for this legislation. 

Full House could vote for commission to force cuts in Social Security, Medicare, other critical human needs programs 

This week the House Budget Committee advanced legislation to create a fiscal commission – a move that many warn could fast-track  cuts to Social Security and Medicare, as well as a wide swath of non-defense discretionary programs important to the human needs community. During a Thursday hearing that lasted almost four hours, it was apparent – time and again – that cuts to Social Security and Medicare are on the table. 

CHN’s Human Needs Watch: Tracking Hardship, January 13, 2024

The Child Tax Credit expansion edition. House and Senate negotiators reportedly are close to reaching a deal on expanding the Child Tax Credit (CTC), although final details remain uncertain. There are at least 19 million reasons to expand the CTC – that’s the number of kids who don’t receive the full credit (or any credit at all) because their families do not earn enough money.  The proposal as reported so far would improve the credit for about 80 percent of those children and lift an estimated 400,000 above the poverty line, as estimated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

More than 1,100 groups oppose cuts to non-defense discretionary funding in letter to Congress 

The Coalition on Human Needs joined more than 1,100 local, state, and national groups in urging Congress to reject harsh cuts in federal funding and instead to push ahead to finish the FY24 appropriations process, using the bipartisan Senate funding framework as a starting point for negotiations. In a letter, the groups warned that a lengthy continuing resolution “would be disastrous for the capacity of the federal government to serve the public, assist those in need, fuel innovation, and address national and global threats.”

CHN statement: There is still a long way for Congress to go to meet our nation’s needs

After many months, Congressional leaders have reaffirmed the funding levels agreed to as part of the negotiation to avoid a federal default last year. Members of the Coalition on Human Needs have waited with increasing concern that congressional failure to act would result in millions of people losing vital help, limiting their ability to afford rent, food, heat, health care, and much more.  We very much hope that confirming the spending framework will result in quick steps forward to make funding decisions that meet current needs. 

America’s drug addiction epidemic is a real emergency. Let’s treat it like one. 

Some congressional critics, ultra-conservative think tanks, and certain media vehemently dispute the need for domestic funds and services. Not real emergencies, they say. For those of us committed to social justice and providing essential human services that these funds support, it’s disheartening to hear the bogus, self-righteous arguments made in opposition to our advocacy efforts.